SessionM, Led by GameLogic and Quattro Vets, Unveils Mobile Ad Platform

3/6/12Follow @gthuang

If there’s a new angle to mobile advertising, Lars Albright has seen it. That’s why his latest company, Boston-based SessionM, is so interesting.

Albright previously co-founded Quattro Wireless, the Boston-area ad-tech firm that Apple picked up for about $275 million in 2010. Before that, he was a vice president at m-Qube, the mobile marketing startup of the early-to-mid-2000s, which was bought by VeriSign for $250 million in 2006 and spawned all manner of follow-up tech companies. So is SessionM next in line?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Boston-based startup is rolling out its first product today after 10 months of stealthy work. The offering is a software platform whereby advertisers can deliver things like video ads to consumers who opt in, in exchange for reward points—which can then be redeemed for items such as gift cards, digital currency, and charity donations. Brands can also offer special content and deals to consumers via SessionM’s ad server.

The platform “sits on top of the apps you already use,” Albright says—it works for Apple’s iOS, Google Android, and mobile Web—and it includes game mechanics such as leveling up (accumulating points to reach new activities and rewards) to “keep people excited or engaged,” he says. The gaming aspect presumably comes from Albright’s fellow co-founders, Mark Herrmann and Scott Weller, who are tech veterans of GameLogic, Lycos, and Gamesville.

Albright, who is the CEO (see photo, left), calls SessionM’s technology an “engagement platform”—though that sounds like something you might buy your wife-to-be. What he means is the offering is intended to make consumers spend more time with mobile ads and content, in a way that’s simple and fun and also helps app developers and publishers make money. Although some pieces of the technology have been done before, Albright says the overall “approach is totally new.” He emphasizes that SessionM is not just another ad network or ad-tech play, … Next Page »

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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